CELL at UIndy

Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning

Testimonials from Past Partners

Robert Bohannon, Assistant Superintendent, MSD of Perry Township

In 2012 the MSD of Perry Township partnered with the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) to provide the school corporation with a secondary education diagnostic report.  This report assessed strengths and weaknesses of the classroom instruction, school leadership, student achievement, and student support.  The report provided a comprehensive outline of the findings and presented an action plan targeting each area assessed.  Beginning with the initial meeting to plan for steps to accomplish the goals of the report to the culminating presentation of findings to our school board, CELL provided leadership and a level of professionalism beyond reproach.  The report provided our school corporation with a research based approach to examining teacher instruction, curricular design, and school culture.  The clear findings from the report and subsequent action plan has provided excellent guide as we continue our efforts to improve student achievement through teacher effectiveness, rigorous curricular design, and support from corporation stakeholders.

William Jensen, Director of Secondary Education, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation

There is great interest in and great concern about the quality of education in our country, our state, and our community.  Many solutions to our perceived educational ills are often not very deep.  In many schools, we chance structures or reconfigure the use of time and quite often these changes do not result in changing the instructional and assessment practices in our classrooms and that is the place where change is meaningful.  Until our classroom instructional and assessment practices change to address the diverse needs and abilities of all learners, our schools will continue to struggle to prepare learners for the rapidly changing and challenging 21st Century.  As we have worked with CELL at the University of Indianapolis, we have been able to make meaningful and thoughtful decisions regarding how to prepare our students to be architects of their own learning and have the habits of mind that  will  ensure their success in the 21st Century.  Through the coaching and networking that CELL has provided, we have thoughtfully changed instruction and assessments in our district so that we are really addressing how our young people learn.

Kent DeKoninck, Ph.D, Superintendent, Greenwood Community School Corporation, formerly Associate Superintendent, Avon Community Schools

I have been very impressed with the work of CELL. CELL helped Avon Community Schools do an extensive study of the High School schedule and curricular programming. The study helped set the stage for meaningful work to further assist the high school program in meeting the needs of students.

Kathy Sharpe, retired Director of Curriculum & Instruction K-12, MSD of Pike Township

We have certainly used the extensive and high quality CELL research at the district level in a variety of ways to enhance our practice….

  • To inform our support for student and families
  • To assist in identifying the most effective practices to maintain and enhance
  • To leverage USDOE and IDOE grants
  • To communicate to our stakeholders and to market the school and district

Troy Inman, Principal, Pike High School

As the principal of Pike High School, I am pleased to write a letter of support for the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL).   The research study conducted by CELL provided Pike High School with quantitative and qualitative data which we have utilized to complete school improvement plans and AdvancED accreditation. The research affirmed to our school community that many of our initiatives are successful.   However, the study went a step further and differentiated which programs and support structures are most beneficial and effective as viewed by the school community (i.e., students, parents and teachers).   This feedback is vital as we begin to prioritize funding and continue to strive to meet the diverse needs of our student population. The researchers were professional and genuine in all their work.   They accommodated our school schedule and at no time impaired the learning process of the school.

Jeff Butts, Superintendent, MSD of Wayne Township

The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township in Indianapolis, Indiana and the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) have worked together for nearly a decade to improve the opportunities for students and teachers in our district and across Indiana. Through a true partnership, the MSD of Wayne Township and CELL have shown great successes, specifically through collaboration in Project-Based Learning and Early College High School.

Our premier Early College High School (ECHS), Ben Davis University High School (BDU), has partnered with CELL to provide professional development and on-site visits for other school districts that are opening early college high schools. The data initiative at CELL has aided our efforts in tracking important data at four-year and two-year institutions attended by our graduates. This data includes: retention rates, GPA, and graduation statistics at these institutions. As a result, BDU achieves 100% graduation each year while maintaining the fidelity of the ECHS model.

Our work with CELL and IUPUI to create the PBL Institute has transformed how many of our teachers teach and how our students learn in real and meaningful ways. The growth of this institute each year has been exciting and a testament to the power of CELL. Cell provides an invaluable networking mechanism that provides for dialogue and connections to meet the needs of the member schools.

Wendi Skibinski, Director of College and Career Readiness, MSD of Wayne Township

In the MSD of Wayne Township, we have been strategic and intentional about developing pathways for all of our students and BDU is one of many very successful pathways. Ben Davis University High School (BDUHS) is an absolute game changer for the scholars we serve. The goal behind our program is to provide the “Awakening Moment”. By building students endurance, offering a strategic curriculum with individual supports, and building students efficacy we are bound to be successful. Students embark on a very rigorous high school and college curriculum that students can successfully navigate at their readiness level. Background knowledge is built, college knowledge is prioritized, areas of interest/career choice are fostered, and assistance with transition become part of their daily routine.

Academic success continues to build each semester, confidence ensues, and college becomes a true reality! Naturally once our students graduate, our work is not yet done. BDU has been strategic about reaching out to our higher education partners to track both their success and challenges. Such conversations and insight then allow us to make adjustments back on our campus; both with curriculum and soft skills. Our work with CELL to track alumni data added an entirely different layer of data collection and enlightenment.

We are changing lives at Ben Davis University High School and students are aspiring beyond their intentions. Our job is to continue to refine, reflect, and revise our program to ensure the University scholars have all the skill efficacies to be successful in their next step after high school. At BDU, we Dare to Be Different

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